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Turning Heads

We have these images of 'The Brady Bunch' or 'The Sound of Music'…where it's instant soup, and it's not like that at all. These relationships take time, and hopefully this one will last for a lifetime so that it changes as the years go on."

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Turning Heads

Gisele Bündchen is once again turning heads
But now it's not because of her supermodel looks
NEW ENGLAND April 13, 2009

This time, all eyes are on her because of comments she made to Vanity Fair magazine, saying she feels her stepson is all hers. The boy is the son of Bündchen's husband, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and his former girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan.

In the latest issue of the magazine, Bündchen reveals that she knows the boy, named John Edward Thomas Moynahan, has a mother and she respects that, but it doesn't matter that Bündchen didn't actually give birth to him, because Bündchen still feels like he's her son.

In her own words, "To me, it's not like, because somebody delivered him, that's not my child -- I feel like it is, 100 percent."

Brady and Moynahan dated for about two years before calling it quits. Shortly after their split, the actress announced she was pregnant with the quarterback's child.

Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychologist and contributing editor for Cookie magazine, tells Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that, while the supermodel's intentions are good, there could be room for misinterpretation.

"It sounds like she considers herself maybe a mom replacement," she tells Rodriguez. "And that's a no-no in the stepmother role."

Ludwig advises Bündchen and other stepmothers not to try to replace the biological mother, but to instead be a "substitute, wonderful adult" in the child's life. Ideally, she adds, the two mothers should try to have some sort of relationship because, if children sense competition between the two, it may be disruptive for them. "They feel they need to make a choice," she says.

But having a relationship with the biological mother doesn't mean the two must become friends -- Ludwig says that can be difficult, especially in a case such as Bündchen and Moynahan's. But the goal is to develop a relationship that leads to a happy family life for all involved, in which everyone has a role and can get along.

Another way to reach that goal is was Ludwig calls including each other in the "family ritual," giving examples such as having both mothers attend a parent-teacher conference, a soccer game, or holiday celebrations.

"I think people need to think out of the box when creating family life for stepfamilies and including everybody," she said. "There's a place for everyone if you can think clearly and not be competitive."

However, she stresses that these relationships aren't easy.

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